The Chase

Bucky Bitters struggles to escape the airborne affections of Derpy Hooves after a chance encounter caused them to bump noses together. His real mistake was trying to comfort the mare after the snoot-bump. Little does the poor stallion realise that their meeting was only the prologue to a journey that will change not only his life, but the lives around him forever.

This story is a sequel to The Catch

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“Sentinel seemed so happy,” Derpy commented as she looked over at Bucky, smiling at her husband. “He’s been a bit troubled lately, it was good to see him happy.”

“Bad things happened,” Berry said with a shrug. “Bad things will keep happening. It’s like this family is cursed.”

“Ha ha Berry Punch… what a laugh,” Derpy deadpanned.

“Sentinel seemed awfully happy though. I would have thought he’d be more nervous about bringing Diamond Tiara to meet Moonbow. He’s so uptight about everything else,” Bucky remarked as he reached down and scratched at his ribs with his stump.

“You shouldn’t say that Sentinel is uptight,” Derpy snapped, her ears perking forward. She glared at her husband who was sprawled out in the bed.

“Sentinel is a little bit uptight though,” Berry stated in a Berry diplomatic voice. “Anyhow, I’m off to help Dinky and Piña with some homework.”

“You know, you’re kinda sexy when you’re scolding me,” Bucky said, looking at the grey pegasus that was glaring at him. He saw her stern face melt into a smile, which made him smile. “Come here, you.”

 

 

Twilight Sparkle eyed the guard that had entered the library and announced that Cheese Sandwich had been found and was now in Canterlot. For a moment, she was overcome with emotion, so much so that she couldn’t speak, and she had to clear her throat several times before she found the words she wanted to say.

“Thank you. I will be departing at once,” Twilight Sparkle said in a strangled voice.

The guard saluted, turned, and then departed, stepping out of the door and into the bustling streets of Ponyville, vanishing from view when the door closed. Now alone, Twilight Sparkle took another deep breath.

“Flash, Rainbow, Spike, I’m going to Canterlot. Cheese Sandwich has been found. I don’t know when I’ll be back,” Twilight announced.

The others came running and looked at Twilight with wide eyes full of concern. Spike was clutching his tail and squeezing it nervously and Flash Sentry was wearing an apron and had been cooking something in the small kitchen. The trio were silent, uncertain, all of them bore looks of great concern.

“I’ll be going alone. I have a stop to make first. Please, somepony needs to be here for when Scootaloo gets back. I’ll be home as soon as I’m able,” Twilight said in a nervous voice, already she was prancing in place with nervous energy.

“You’re going to the Tree of Harmony first, aren’t you?” Rainbow Dash asked in a low voice as she took a step closer to Twilight Sparkle.

“How did you know?” Twilight questioned in reply, looking at Rainbow Dash with a quizzical expression.

“Dreams Twilight… I keep dreaming about the tree… and hearing laughter. But it isn’t just Pinkie Pie’s laughter, there are others laughing too. I think it’s Cheese Sandwich and somepony else. It’s a nice dream… and I keep having it,” Rainbow Dash hesitantly admitted as she stared down at her front hooves.

“I’ve been having the same dream,” Twilight responded, looking surprised.

“But we don’t have time to discuss it,” Flash Sentry croaked in a low voice. “You have to go. Go help Pinkie Pie.”

“I love you all… I’ll be back,” Twilight promised as she made her way to the door.

“I’ll have dinner waiting for you,” Flash offered in a low strained whisper.

“Good luck Twi,” Rainbow Dash said nervously.

 

 

The chariot had barely come to a stop when Sentinel lept out and took off in search of Moonbow. Behind him, Diamond Tiara had to hurry to keep up with the frantic colt. The pair made their way out of the landing clearing and towards a cluster of buildings.

Between two large stone buildings, Sentinel saw her. “Moonbow!” he cried, now running forward towards the shackled and bound filly. Not caring about the cold hard iron all over her body, he plowed into her and hugged her tightly, wrapping his forelegs around her iron collared neck. After a few minutes of squeezing, he pulled away to have a good look at her.

“Hi Sentinel,” Moonbow greeted, smiling a fanged smile. Her doll was on her back and her tail swished wildly from side to side.

“You’ve gotten bigger!” Sentinel cried as he studied Moonbow, who was indeed larger. She had increased in mass considerably, now wider and thicker legged. “Moonbow, this is Diamond Tiara,” he said, introducing the nervous earth pony filly who had sat down a few feet away and was watching nervously.

“You brought me a filly… how sweet,” Moonbow teased, looking first at Sentinel and then at Diamond Tiara.

“Hi,” Diamond Tiara greeted, her voice a nervous squeak. “Sentinel told me all about you… and why you’re covered in iron weights.”

“Come closer,” Moonbow said in a low but commanding voice.

Looking extremely submissive, Diamond Tiara moved slowly towards Moonbow, until Sentinel gave her a solid push, nearly causing her to tumble. She found herself snoot to snoot with the much larger lunar pegasus filly and she gulped in fear.

“You have nothing to fear from me,” Moonbow stated, looking Diamond Tiara in the eye as she spoke. “There are no threats to be made and no promises of violence. I just wanted to see you up close,” she said as she sniffed slightly, all too aware that Sentinel had marked Diamond Tiara.

“I’ve been good to him,” Diamond Tiara said sheepishly.

“I’ll say it again, I bear you no hostility,” Moonbow repeated.

“So how have you been? What have you been doing?” Sentinel asked, looking at Moonbow as he spoke with wide eyes.

“Training. Running. Becoming educated. I can read and write quite well now and every day I am getting better,” Moonbow replied in a soft voice. “I’ve been getting lessons from Grimglammer and Shadowguard. Their home is almost finished… there have been delays.”

“I’ve missed them,” Sentinel sighed as he sat down.

“I’ve missed you,” Moonbow admitted.

“This feels strange,” Diamond Tiara mentioned in a nervous voice.

“Why is it strange?” Moonbow asked.

“I expected you to be jealous or something,” Diamond Tiara answered.

“No,” Moonbow responded. “I want Sentinel to be happy and to find future herdmates. So far, he has done a good job. I am pleased with what he has found. Mistress has told me all about you, both good and bad.”

“Oh... that’s what I was afraid of,” Diamond Tiara whimpered.

“Try not to worry about it,” Moonbow said in a reassuring voice to Diamond Tiara. “You have the strength and courage to change because of your budding love for Sentinel.”

“Um… er… oh,” Diamond Tiara stammered.

“Nothing is hidden from the Night Princess,” Moonbow stated in a matter of fact tone of voice, her eyes locking onto Diamond Tiara with a fierce predatory gaze.

 

 

The afternoon stretched out slowly and Bucky was enjoying a very lazy day around the house, spending time with his wives and his fellow tribemates. The whole group was sprawled out in the living room, lounging on sofas, chairs, and cushions upon the floor. There had been something a of a lull in the conversation and a silence loomed over the room, save for the soft snores of Barley O’Blivion, who was asleep in his chair.

Feeling rather bored, Bucky watched as Belisama’s tail flicked around, darting to and fro as the griffon relaxed beside him, sitting on the sofa between him and Derpy. Bucky now understood Sentinel’s fascination with objects that moved suddenly, and he found himself watching every twitch of Belisama’s tail.

Quite without thinking about it, he reached out with his right leg and snatched Belisama’s tail, pinching it in his fetlock. He gave a soft tug and let out a playful chuckle, expecting an indignant squawk.

Instead, Belisama fell over on her side and went limp, letting out a small gasp.

Immediately letting go of Belisama’s tail, Bucky looked at Belisama with growing concern, noting that she was now breathing heavily. “You okay?”

His beak clicking together several times, Lugus let out a grunt of concern. “It’s okay Belisama… nothing is going to happen.”

The griffoness did not move, but closed her eyes and let out a sigh.

“I’m lost,” Bucky said.

“Belisama?” Derpy asked as she snatched up the limp griffoness beside her and pulled her close. “You alright?”

“What just happened?” Bucky asked, realising he had committed some kind of social blunder. He looked at Belisama with concern.

“You pulled her tail,” Yew stated.

“Yes,” Lugus agreed.

“And I’m guessing that was bad?” Bucky inquired, looking around the room.

“When I want hanky panky I pull on Lugus’ tail,” Yew said in a low voice.

“Oh nuts, Belisama, did I scare you?” Bucky asked, looking over at the griffoness who was clinging to Derpy. “I was stupid and I didn’t know.”

Squeezing Belisama softly, Derpy tried to soothe the panicked griffoness’ nerves. She ran a foreleg down Belisama’s back and stoked her softly, gingerly holding her fellow-wife close in a comforting embrace.

“You didn’t know,” Belisama said in a muffled  voice.

“So tail pulling is a request for loving… really, I had no idea,” Bucky said, looking aghast as he spoke in a subdued voice. “So when you two get in the mood, you tug on each other’s tails?” he asked of Lugus and Yew.

“It might seem silly, but it has significance. It can be affectionate but it can also be mean spirited… the hunter castes don’t always wish to speak to the servant caste, so tail pulling works as a non verbal communication,” Yew explained patiently. “Falling over and going limp is the way that the servant caste shows submission. A sort of non verbal plea of ‘please don’t kill me’ and a sign of willingness to comply.”

“Oh bugger,” Bucky grumbled, rubbing his face with his good leg.

“It has always been affectionate between Yew and I,” Lugus remarked, trying to look anywhere but at Bucky or Yew.

“Falling over and going limp… what a boner killer,” Bucky muttered.

“Bucky!” Derpy snapped, glaring at her husband.

“What?” Bucky retorted.

“Don’t say stuff like that,” Derpy scolded as she continued to cradle Belisama.

“I didn’t mean to react the way I did,” Belisama said in a pained voice. “They tell you this from a young age… to just go still and be submissive to make things easier.”

Scowling, Berry Punch shook her head slowly, looking Berry furious from Belisama’s words. “I don’t care much for what I’m hearing.” Berry remarked in a quietly seething voice.

“Well… you learn something new every day,” Bucky announced, still looking rather icked out by the whole situation that had just taken place.

 

 

Twilight Sparkle felt an overwhelming sense of relief when she saw the lean lanky earth pony known as Cheese Sandwich. He looked nervous, rather sad, and his eyes were bloodshot, a telltale sign that he had been crying.

“Sorry if you’ve been waiting,” Twilight Sparkle apologised.

“No worries… Princess Twilight, is Pinkie Pie going to be okay?” Cheese Sandwich asked, looking up at Twilight, his eyes wide with a pleading expression upon his face.

“I think we have the means to help her,” Twilight replied, a nervous smile spreading across her face. “I made a stop on the way here and picked something up… and I know that you are the only pony who can help.”

“And that is?” Cheese inquired, still looking up at Twilight, his eyes never once leaving her. His lower lip quivered with barely contained emotion and his ears sank down, almost to the sides of his face.

Using her magic, Twilight Sparkle pulled something shiny out of her saddlebag and held it up before Cheese Sandwich. It was a small golden collar with a bright blue balloon shaped gemstone embedded in it. “You are going to use this,” Twilight stated in a confident voice. “When I visited the tree, this was laying on the ground beside it.”

“Is that… is that… that’s the Element of Laughter,” Cheese Sandwich said in tone of hushed reverence.

“You’ve been chosen,” Twilight said in a commanding voice. “Now put this on. I don’t know what we need to do, but Pinkie Pie is in trouble and you are the only one who can save her, Cheese Sandwich.”

 

 

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